Pelled research focuses on developing and leveraging transformative technologies for enhancing neuro-performance. Through holistic and multidisciplinary approaches we work toward developing marine-inspired technologies for artificial sensing and adaptive-prosthetics; restoring sensory-motor performance after traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury, and peripheral nerve injury; and improving athletic performance and cognitive capabilities by using genetic-based neuromodulation and non-invasive brain stimulation.
Grasping, is the most desirable movement that patients who lost a limb or had a spinal cord injury would like to have. The octopus is extraordinary in many ways, one of them is its distributed neural control where each of its arms functions as an independent and adaptive unit. Inspired by octopus’s arm decision-making mechanism we are working towards identifying fundamental sensorimotor circuits associated with goal-oriented grasping movement by using high-dimensional biological, analytical and robotics technologies.
We are working towards developing new biosensors to report on neuronal function in vivo, and neuromodulation technologies that will allow wireless control of a specific neuronal population. To that end, we have recently identified and cloned a single gene that encodes to a protein that is activated by non-invasive electromagnetic fields. This new technology could complement the existing arsenal of neuromodulation techniques, and, due to its non-invasive nature, can be potentially translated into the clinic.
We work with a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy, where we aim to develop neuromodulation therapy to alleviate seizures. We are using magnetogenetics as a strategy to provide closed-loop neuromodulation.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children often leads to long-term neurological, cognitive and emotional deficits. We investigate how TBI induces abnormal neuronal connectional that may translate to impaired and delayed recovery. In order to identify post-TBI plasticity mechanisms, we apply intracellular recordings in brain slices, extracellular recordings in vivo, functional imaging methods and behavioral testing in a pediatric rodent model of TBI.
We are developing neuromodulation strategies to augment recovery following injury. We use optogenetics, non-invasive brain stimulation technologies such as Transcranial magnetic stimulation, electrodes and other genetic based modification to manipulate neuronal function and guide plasticity.